The Virtue of Argumentation


Missed a few updates because of life, quite suddenly, getting busy. Usually, I beat myself up for those types of excuses. But since I’m learning French, it might be best to say “C’est la vie.”

Maybe it’s the fallout of the election or the constant parties occurring around this time of year, but I’ve been thinking quite often about arguments. If memory serves, Dale Carnegie wrote that no one truly wins an argument. One person ends up being filled with resentment, and the other ends up hurting their friend and gaining a false sense of superiority.

Yet, most political discourse, news media, and social media are comprised of arguments. We are totally absorbed by all of those things, so what gives? Is it in our nature to avoid arguments, as well as join in, watch, and be enamored by them?

Stranger yet, is that the truth hardly ever wins arguments. Hard facts are often boring. Fiery, hot words filled with emotion, on the other hand, are thrilling.

Writing this, two friends come to mind. One who seems quite indifferent to everything, and often questions everything, and questions plenty of people. Alternatively, the other person questions people to lure them into arguments and is relentlessly emotional. Do questions attract the indifferent? Do arguments attract the passionate?

Certainly, there is plenty of psychology to go with my babbling. First and most importantly, yes, emotions are easier to manipulate than anything else. Politicians don’t exactly go around making statements that seem like cold, boring facts. (Coincidentally, they statistically tell the truth way more often than we think.)

Passionate people, as it goes, are and have always been better at advancing any narrative. For example, your indifferent friend isn’t spreading information on the election results or news articles. Well, at least mine isn’t.

Meanwhile, your emotional friend probably keeps arguing. After all, we are attracted to the chaos of an argument. Chaos, if anything, loves spreading around. Perhaps this is where argumentation can seem virtuous.

Often, as a society, we enjoy the emotions that get wrapped into chaos. Contrarily, we also try to avoid chaos as much as possible. Maybe you can’t have calm without the chaos and vice versa. And maybe one day the calm and collected will truly inherit the earth and show the chaotic how we truly feel!

Joking. Can’t a man dream for a bit? For now, I guess the calm should embrace chaotic, and the chaotic should embrace the calm.


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